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Department Highlights


State-of-the-Art Psychology Curriculum

Students in the Psychology program

Students currently have two degree options and five concentration options within psychology.

  • BA in General Psychology
  • BS in General Psychology
  • BA in Clinical/Counseling
  • BS in Clinical/Counseling
  • BS in Behavioral Neuroscience (typically benefits from a minor in biology)

The goal of creating multiple concentrations is to better prepare our majors to compete for positions at the post-graduate level.

3+2 Social Work Program with Case Western Reserve University

Sociology has entered into an agreement with Mandel School of Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to establish a 3+2 program in which students will complete three years of study at ONU with a major in sociology and the final two years at CWRU in the Masters of Social Science Administration (MSSA) program.  With successful completion of the five-year program, the student will earn a BA in sociology from ONU and an MSSA from CWRU. 

Interdisciplinary Criminal Justice Curriculum

Criminal Justice is a field informed by multiple areas; our curriculum reflects this diversity. In addition to completing courses in criminal justice, students take courses in sociology, psychology, criminology, political science, geography, statistics and research methods. Criminal justice students may also pursue a forensic criminal justice option by taking additional biology and chemistry courses.

Research Methods and Statistics Training

All psychology majors will take at least one statistics course and one experimental research methods course (which results in a completed research project). All sociology majors take at least one broad-based course in social scientific research methods and one course in data analysis with an emphasis on use of SPSS (Statistical Programs for the Social Sciences) and analysis of data. We also offer an advanced data analysis course, which both psychology and sociology majors are encouraged to take.

Active Human and Animals Labs

Phil Zoladz supervises 15-20 undergraduate students yearly in all levels of research in his on-site human and rodent laboratories. Lab assistants are trained in all aspects of lab work, including the collection and analysis of data, designing and implementing research designs, breeding and care of animal subjects, and ethical treatment of human and animal subjects.

Multiple Active Research Agendas

Phil Zoladz maintains multiple research agendas out of his lab. Research on stress and on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is performed on both animals (rats) and humans with the assistance of 15-20 undergraduates. Zoladz also collaborates with faculty in the College of Pharmacy and is currently investigating the interactive effects of sleep deprivation and stress on cardiovascular function. The research from the lab is being published at an impressive rate, in high-quality journals, often with students listed as co-authors of articles and co-presenters of posters/papers at national and regional meetings

Megan Kraynok maintains projects in sleep research with the assistance of between three and five undergraduates. Data is collected on sleep patterns of college students and then entered and analyzed by undergraduates. Presentations and publications with students have occurred regularly since 2011.

Keith Durkin maintains multiple research agendas on topics such as binge drinking, internet scamming, cyber-bullying and sexual predators. Durkin has co-authored published articles and book chapters with undergraduates in the past and has recently acquired a 12,000-case data set on juvenile drug users, which he will be analyzing with the help of undergraduate students.

Internship Opportunities

Keith Durkin’s involvement with the “Reclaiming the Futures” project has opened several internship opportunities with LifeWorks, a charter school for juvenile drug users in Kenton, Ohio. Students may work in data collection and analysis, work directly with clients as tutors and mentors, use assessment tools in the evaluation of clients, or train with probation officers, social workers, teachers, local attorneys and the sheriff's office.

In the 2011-12 academic year alone, 19 psychology and/or sociology majors presented papers at academic conferences. Most of these Psychology students presenting findings on a study were works done either for course assignments or in conjunction with faculty research agendas.

In the past five years:

  • 69 undergraduates have presented at professional and academic conferences
  • 53 unique papers/posters have been presented
  • Five undergraduates have co-authored published papers with department faculty
  • Hanna Burke was awarded a research grant from Psi Chi (International Honor Society in Psychology) for a project she developed in Phil Zoladz’ animal lab.

Strong Faculty and Student Publication Record

The faculty publication and presentation record is impressive. In the past five years, psychology and sociology faculty have:

  • Presented 37 papers at various regional and national academic and professional meetings.  
  • Published 25 articles in refereed journals, 11 book chapters and one workbook.
    • Psychology accounts for 13 of the journal articles, two of the book chapters and the workbook.
    • Sociology is responsible for 12 of the journal articles, eight of the book chapters and 23 of the presentations.

Similarly, our students have a noteworthy publication record. Five of the above publications were co-authored with undergraduate students, and faculty-fostered student research has appeared in a variety of publications, including Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, The Journal of Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences, International Review of Modern Sociology, Readings in Deviant Behavior, Mental Health Issues in the Criminal Justice System and The College Student Journal.

Continuing Education Programs

Beginning in March 2012, Ron DeLong and Keith Durkin organized a series of continuing education programs around sexual crimes and the Internet. These programs are held quarterly under the banner of the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice and Ohio Northern University. Marketed to law enforcement, social workers, psychologists, counselors, marriage and family therapists and law scholars, these programs bring a wide variety of experts into contact with Ohio Northern and advertise the experts currently part of the department.

Well-Connected Faculty

Faculty are members of many professional organizations including the following:

  • Association for Psychological Science
  • American Sociological Association
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Associated Professional Sleep Societies
  • International Society for Developmental Society
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • Mid-Southern Sociological Association
  • North Central Sociological Association
  • Midwestern Psychological Association
  • Ohio Psychological Association
  • Psi Chi (International Honor Society in Psychology)
  • Alpha Kappa Delta (International Honor Society in Sociology)
  • Alpha Phi Sigma (National Criminal Justice Honors Society)
  • Mortar Board

In-Demand FacultyTwo students at the Great Wall of China

Keith Durkin has done dozens of media appearance commenting on topics typically connected to deviance and the internet.

Robert Carrothers’ research on sport fan violence and celebration riots has been recently featured in Sports Illustrated (December 27, 2011) and the Philadelphia Daily News (January 2012). He has also done several radio and podcast appearances on these topics.

Phil Zoladz has presented his research at international neuroscience conferences including traveling to China in May 2012 and Ventura, CA in January 2014.  His article on PTSD is currently among the most cited works in that area of research.

Megan Kraynok and Rebecca Brooks participated in the interdisciplinary public health major in developed by ONU.

Strong Placement Record of Alumni into Graduate Programs

Psychology: Placement rate 91% (62/68 pursuing graduate work)

2013: 20 Graduates; 11 pursued graduate work (55%), 9 of 11 were accepted (82%)
2012: 23 Graduates; 10 pursued graduate work (43%), 8 of 10 were accepted (80%)
2011: 17 Graduates; 10 pursued graduate work (58%), 9 of 10 were accepted (90%)
2010: 20 Graduates; 16 pursued graduate work (80%), 15 of 16 were accepted (94%)
2009: 24 Graduates; 13 pursued graduate work (54%), 12 of 16 were accepted (75%)
2008: 22 Graduates; 19 pursued graduate work (86%), 18 of 19 were accepted (95%).

Sociology: Placement rate 88% (23/26 pursuing graduate work)
2012: 6 Graduates; 3 pursued graduate work (50%), all 3 were accepted (100%)
2011: 7 Graduates; 4 pursued graduate work (57%), 2 of 4 were accepted (50%)
2010: 7 Graduates; 7 pursued graduate work (100%), all 7 were accepted (100%)
2009: 6 Graduates; 6 pursued graduate work (100%), all 6 were accepted (100%)
2008: 8 Graduates; 6 pursued graduate work (75%), 5 of 6 were accepted (83%).

Overall: 91% placement rate. The rate increases to ~95% when considering students who return to grad school in years after graduation.

The majority of our students go on to graduate programs. Our department most commonly places students in graduate programs in the following fields:

  • Social work (11)
  • Counseling psychology (11)
  • Clinical psychology (6)
  • Forensic psychology (3)
  • Professional psychology (5)
  • Sociology (3)
  • Law school (5)
  • Theology/Seminary (3)
  • Family studies (2)
  • School psychology (2)
  • Occupational Therapy (2)

Our students most commonly enter the following graduate programs:

  • Case Western Reserve University (MSSA; MSW) - 7 students
  • Ohio State University (MSW, sociology, family studies, occupation therapy, public health) - 6 students
  • Wright State University (PsyD) - 5 students
  • University of Dayton (law, counseling psychology) - 3 students
  • Bowling Green State University (counseling) - 2 students
  • University of Indianapolis (forensic psychology, PsyD) - 2 students
  • Spalding (KY) University (forensic psychology, PsyD) - 2 students
  • Arizona State University (educational psychology, criminal justice) - 2 students

We also have had successful placements are several elite universities, including the following:

  • Indiana University- Bloomington (sociology)
  • University of Kentucky (family studies)
  • Southern Illinois University (PhD, clinical psychology)
  • Cleveland State University (MA, clinical psychology)
  • University of Louisville (MS, administrative justice)
  • West Virginia University (PhD, clinical Psychology)
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Old Dominion University (PhD, clinical psychology)
  • Kent State University (MA, rehabilitation counseling)
  • Duquesne University (PhD, school psychology)
  • Morehead State (KY) (PsyD)
  • Miami (OH) University (MA, gerontology)
  • University of Cincinnati (MSW)
  • University of Wisconsin (occupational therapy)
  • Barry University (counseling psychology)
  • Marymount (VA) University (forensic psychology)
  • Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (philanthropic studies)
  • Chicago School of Professional Psychology (counseling psychology)
  • University of Toledo (special education)

Accomplished Faculty

Robert Carrothers: Associate Professor of Sociology; Chair, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice (9 years at ONU)

Teaching interests: Theory, social psychology, social problems, sociology of religion

Research interests: Sports, riots, religious identity

Recent accomplishments:

  • Work recently cited in Sports Illustrated, Philadelphia Daily News (later syndicated), Columbus Dispatch
  • Appeared on Canadian Broadcasting Company, CBC Radio, WLIO-Lima, Hang Up and Listen ( podcast)
  • Membership chair and session organizer, North Central Sociological Association (11 sessions over past 5 years)
  • 14 papers presented in past 5 years

Keith Durkin: Professor of Sociology (14 years at ONU)

Teaching interests: Criminology, victimology

Research interests: scammers, sexual predators, binge drinking, social bonds

Recent accomplishments:

  • Former president, vice president, and program chair for Mid-South Sociological Association
  • National site organizer for “Reclaiming the Futures” project with Hardin County Juvenile Courts through Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Kristie Payment: Associate Professor of Psychology (9 years at ONU)

Teaching interests: Cognitive psychology, experimental psychology, cognitive development, child psychology, statistics

Research interests: False memory development in children and college-aged participants.

Recent accomplishments:

  • Two conference presentations with students at Midwestern Psychological Association in May 2012
  • Publication in 2011 Journal of Memory and Language
  • Selected as a "Favorite Professor by Mortar Board Member" in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Awarded a summer research grant in 2011
  • Outstanding Teaching Faculty Member as voted by the Student Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Recognized for Excellence in Education at the University Level by Ohio Magazine, December 2013.

Phil Zoladz: Associate Professor of Psychology (5 years at ONU)Philosophy students in China

Teaching interests: Neuroscience, physiological psychology, psychopharmacology

Research interests: Stress processes in both animals and humans, PTSD

Recent accomplishments:

  • Named to "2011 Excellence in Education" by Ohio Magazine
  • Invited to present at Neurotalk conference in China in May 2012
  • Active human and animal labs currently employing 22 undergraduate assistants
  • Two book chapters and seven journal articles published in the past year
  • Four presentations a the Society for Neuroscience over the past two years

Megan Clegg-Kraynok: Associate Professor of Psychology (4 years in ONU)

Teaching interests: Developmental psychology, sleep, adolescence, aging, health psychology

Research interests: Sleep

Recent accomplishments:

  • Active research agenda in sleep research employing 6 undergraduate assistants
  • Three publications in past year 
  •  "Outstanding Teaching Faculty Member" by the Student Advisory Board of College of Arts and Sciences

Tristan Kilgallon:  Assistant Professor in Criminal Justice (2 years at ONU)

Teaching interests: Comparative criminal justice, policing, criminal investigation, serial killers

Research interests: Anti-corruption efforts in past-conflict societies

Recent accomplishments:

  • Traveled to Kosovo to conduct field research, presented findings at the annual OCCJE Research Conference
  • Elected as Trustee for the Ohio Council of Criminal Justice Education
  • Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award as voted by the Student Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences

Ann Johnson: Assistant Professor of Psychology (1 year at ONU)

Teaching interests:  Introduction to Psychology, Development Across the Lifespan, Child Development, Introduction to Clinical Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology

Research interests:  Child and Adult Psychopathology, Stress and Psychopathology, Executive Functioning

Recent accomplishments:

  • Recently graduated from Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Notre Dame
  • Completed Predoctoral Clinical Internship at Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health, Omaha, NE
  • Received a national grant for a study on the effects of stress on executive functioning on children with ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders

Rebecca Brooks: Instructor in Sociology (9 years at ONU)

Teaching interests: Statistics, research methods, medical sociology, sociology of food

Research interests: Stress, mental health, health care, health behaviors

Recent accomplishments:

Session organizer and paper presenter, 2012 North Central Sociological Association conference
Paper presenter, 2012 NCSA conference, 2014 NCSAQ conference
On the evaluation committee for Activate Allen County, funded by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant


Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice

Robert Carrothers

Hill 018
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
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